We’ve all been going online with our yoga teacher trainings through COVID. But now that restrictions are easing up, what do we do now? Do we go back to completely in-person, stay with the hybrid, or stay completely online…and if so, what are best practices?
1. Know Your Audience
Step One in figuring out if and how to leverage online content is to know your students. While doing part of your yoga teacher training online may seem like a good idea, it’s best to step back first and consider who your students are. Here are some questions to ask:
- Are my students comfortable with online technology (zoom and the like)?
- Do my students have the materials they need at home (props, etc.) to do part of their work online?
- Are my students local (making it easy to come into the studio) or far away (making doing work work online more attractive)?
- What appeals more to your students learning style? Do they need in-person touch points, or can they work independently?
2. Know Your Content
If you elect to teach your entire course online, your students will not be evaluated in-person, nor can they easily develop in-person teaching skills. After all, it’s quite a different experience to teach on Zoom than to teach in a studio with real students. It’s important to consider the skillset you need your students to demonstrate in order to graduate successfully. If teaching live and in-person is an important aspect of your curriculum, then teaching live and in-person needs to be part of the experience.
Also, certain content cannot effectively be taught online. Hands on assists, for example. You simply need in-person feedback to teach this kind of skill.
On the other hand, there is some content that is excellent to teach online ~ and in fact, may even be better online than in person. More cognitive tasks such as sequencing exercises, worksheets, philosophical discussions, ethics discussions can all be taught online effectively.
Understanding what needs to be taught in person – and what could be taught well virtually – will give you a better idea of how much of your content would be appropriate for online delivery.
3. Know Your Assessments
It’s far easier to assess students live (whether on Zoom or in-person) than to assess their teaching through recordings. For one, other students can also observe the assessment, which gives them valuable insight into evaluating and honing their own skills. Also, it’s a lot better to give your trainees immediate, “just in time” feedback to students so that they can integrate adjustments in the moment. It’s not as easy for them to integrate feedback that comes much later in time. Also, it can take a lot of YOUR time to review videos for each student and to meet with them; usually it’s faster and more effective to evaluate them in person. For this reason, it can be helpful to have your assessments delivered in person.
4. Consider Faculty and Peer Interaction
One of the best parts of a teacher training is connecting with peers and the faculty. Many students take a yoga teacher training in part because they get to connect with faculty more closely. If you are teaching part of your training online, then take time to consider how you can also create community and connection virtually. Tactics such as creating study groups, having online mentorship meetings, hosting online discussion forums, and having shared projects can all increase student interaction, which can both increase learning as well as motivation.
Also, you need to know your faculty. Can your faculty handle the technical requirements of online delivery?
The Bottom Line
Generally speaking, a hybrid yoga teacher training program (partially online and partially in-person) can give you the best of both worlds. You can put certain lessons online (either pre-recorded or synchronous via Zoom) that would benefit from online delivery. Putting some content online can be helpful because:
- Students and trainers will have more flexibility with timing,
- Reduces commute time,
- When content is pre-recorded, you have given students access to a library of resources that they can access anytime,
- Reduces your studio rental fees (see more on budgeting here),
- Some content is even better taught online than in person.
At the same time, you can leverage your in-person time for the content that is best served by being taught in real life, such as:
- Practice teaching,
- Applied anatomy,
- Teacher presence and body language,
- Hands on assists.
It’s a brave new world! By being savvy about how you leverage our new online capabilities, you can create a yoga teacher training that is effective, engaging, and transformational.
Need help creating a great online course? Learn from the best!